Over 1,200 boats, including classics and lovingly restored personal projects, have signed up to compete in the 2014 JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Here are four that are entered to race on Saturday June 21, three of which have a link with the America's Cup!
Caronade is a 1966-67 Vega 40 of mahogany on oak frames built in Poland. She has been restored over the course of a decade by her Dutch owner Caspar (Caap) Coolhaas.
The boat was found abandoned on September 11th 2001, after which it took six months to track down the then owner. She was shipped to Beaulieu where she was dismantled, rebuilt and re-launched in 2010. The mast was stepped in 2011 and she finally sailed again.
The crew for the 2014 round the island race (all in their late 50s and 60s) comprises an interesting and accomplished mix with Caap having done many Atlantic crossings and raced with Alan Bond when he won the Challenger trials in Newport, Rhode Island, on Southern Cross in the 1974 America's Cup. Ineke Ferdinandus sails in the Caribbean and along the East coast of the USA, whilst Charles Fairey has done many delivery trips with Caap and Harry van der Graaf has completed numerous Channel crossings.
Whooper is a 1939 Laurent Giles one-off and a winner of the much-coveted Gold Roman Bowl, helmed to glory in 2004 by her owner/skipper Giovanni Belgrano from the Isle of Wight. He's back on the start line with Whooper and many of the same crew ten years on after returning from living and working with the America's Cup Team NZ for nine years.
Phill McGowan from Eastleigh in Hampshire, purchased Paean, a Cheverton Caravel MK 2, as a project in 2010. She was built in Cowes in 1961 and has been completely refurbished and, with advice and guidance from the original builder, David Cheverton, has restored her to almost her original form. As far as we can ascertain, this will be the first time she has entered the Round the Island Race.
Read the full report on test sailing Paean.
The exquisite 12m Sceptre (12-K17) is joining the Race this year, chartered from the Sceptre Preservation Society. Sceptre raced in the 1958 America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island, the spiritual home of USA Sailing. She was defeated by the USA 12m yacht Columbia.
In 2011, Clive Hassett and a group of friends chartered Colombia in Newport for the annual New York Yacht Club Regatta winning their class and defeating several other 12m yachts from that era.
They thought it would be a fitting sequel for their group to track down Columbia's British challenger from 1958 and race her in the Round the Island Race, in Cowes, the spiritual home of British sailing.
Thanks to the amazing efforts of the Sceptre Preservation Society, she is very much alive and afloat and the team is delighted that they will be able to achieve their ambition of racing both yachts from the 1958 America's Cup. We believe this to be a unique arrangement. Their group is somewhat eclectically known as the 'International Gentlemen's Sailing Club' and comprises friends from the UK, USA, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. They have raced in the RTI for many years, often under the burgee of Lloyd's Yacht Club, of which several of them are members.
The yacht will be berthed at the Royal Yacht Squadron, which was the challenging Yacht Club in the 1958 race and remarkably they will be joined for dinner one night by one of the British crew who took part in that race on Sceptre back in 1958.
Registered as a National Historic Vessel, Sceptre is recognised and admired wherever she goes. www.sceptre1958.co.uk
For the latest on the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race see: www.roundtheisland.org.uk
The Round the Island race is one of the biggest annual mass participation sporting events in the UK: David Dimbleby to start Round the Island race 2014, and last year's edition could boast to have been The Best Round the Island Race, Ever.